Social Construction Of Gender

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Gender is socially constructed in the United States due to the enforcement of societal norms. Sex is more of a biological concept, while gender is more of a social construct. Gender involves the social expectations, norms, and rules that are prescribed to either males or females in society. According to Lorber in the article “Night to his day: The social construction of gender”, sex is more biologically-based, while gender is socialized and is related to the everyday actions we commit and everyday activities we participate in. Based on the sex a person is born with, a set of social expectations is placed upon this person. Throughout the course of the lifespan, individuals are taught to meet the expectations and standards of masculinity and femininity assigned to them based on their sex (as determined by their genitalia at birth). Although men and women are physiologically more alike in appearance than they are different, many people believe in categorical distinctions based on sex.
Gender influences how individuals behave and how others expect other individuals to behave. Once a person is assigned a gender role by society, “the social order constructs and holds individuals to strongly gendered norms and expectations” (Lorber, 104). Individuals are encouraged to behave in ways that coincide with the expectations of their gender because of the societal pressure to conform. From birth, parents influence the extent to which an individual conforms to the expectations of their

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